England news March 26, 2009

Vaughan backs Strauss to lead in the Ashes

Cricinfo staff

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has backed Andrew Strauss to lead England during the Ashes this year despite the team's lack of success since he took over from Kevin Pietersen. England lost the five-Test series against West Indies 1-0, were beaten in the Twenty20 international, and are currently level at 1-1 in the five ODI series.

"I believe Strauss is the right man and a very, very good leader," Vaughan told Sky Sports. "I hope he is going to be captain for the Ashes and well beyond that, because he creates stability about the team. We just have to get that winning momentum back to the team. It will just happen, as long as they keep doing the right things." Vaughan stepped down as England captain during the home series against South Africa in 2008 and has since been out of the Test team.

Strauss also found a supporter in Andrew Flintoff, who said the captain was probably England's "best player". "Straussy has just scored a hundred in his last one-day international and probably was our best player," Flintoff said. "Straussy is our captain - he is the one that tosses the coin and leads the team out on the field and long may that continue."

Flintoff also backed Andy Flower, who stepped in as England coach on a temporary basis after Peter Moores was removed following the row with Pietersen. Flintoff said Flower should not be blamed for England's poor results in the West Indies.

"He's doing a good job. It has been tough, I am sure, for him," Flintoff said. "When you have had the winter that we have as a side I think everyone has felt it," Flintoff said. "When you are not winning games there is a certain amount of pressure which is put on us as a team and probably on the coaching staff as well, but Andy is a solid bloke and he wants the best for the team. I think every day he gives his best he can try and improve the side each time."